Losing Sales By Overcharging For Shipping And Handling

As a serious seller on eBay you're familiar with their fee circumventing rules. If not, visit: http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/listing-circumventing.html.

In a nutshell their rule is that you are not allowed to put an item up for bid for a penny and charge $100 for shipping and handling (S&H) in an attempt to avoid the transaction fee. Since we are not trying to avoid fees we all follow the rules ? right? To a certain extent yes, but many sellers are still stretching the bubble by over charging for S&H in an attempt to maximize their profits and losing bidders in the process - the end result is the opposite of what they hoped for. Ultimately they reduce their sales and although these efforts fit within eBay's policies, when extreme, they are considered an unfair practice by many buyers.

I'll give you an example. I play in a Texas-No-Hold-Em poker game once a month - just a bunch of friends who get together, play a little poker, talk about their lives and have some fun. I thought it would be nice if we had some 'professional-style' poker chips so went to eBay to buy some. I like to think of myself as an intelligent eBay shopper so I watched the auctions for a few days and noticed that the final price averaged $60 for the chips I wanted (retail is about twice that at a local store). The market was determining the price, or was it?

As I watched these auctions I noticed an interesting problem, the shipping charges varied greatly. For the sake of this example let's say one seller was offering S&H at $20, another at $30 and one $50. We'll call them Seller A, Seller B and Seller C. As a buyer, if I was willing to accept the price determined by the market ? in this case $60, then the final cost of the item from each of these sellers would be:

Seller A: $60 + $20 = $80
Seller B: $60 + $30 = $90
Seller C: $60 + $50 = $110

I did some additional homework and discovered the package would weigh 17 pounds, the size would not increase shipping costs and the sellers were all in my state. I went to the UPS and Fed-X web sites and plugged in the needed information for shipping cost estimates. The results were $11 and $17. All things being equal the total cost of the chips should be around $71-$78. So which seller's auction did I bid on? Only one ? Seller A ? and I got the chips for $52, plus S&H ($72). If I hadn't won that auction I may have bid on Seller B's but probably would have lowered my total bid amount by $10. Seller C's auction closed without a singe bid.

Seller A got my business, Seller B may have, and as far as I was concerned, and apparently other bidders, Seller C can go pound sand. The outcome of this example should be pretty clear and it should be obvious by now that you don't want to be Seller C. Although you may get an occasional windfall with less savvy bidders, in the long term your sales will be much less than that of other sellers of similar items.

That's not to say you shouldn't recoup your shipping and handling costs in the process. We're not in business to lose money, but make sure you are not trying to pad your 'profit' at the expense of loosing bidders and ultimately sales. Take the time to do similar research on your own items and market niche and find out where you stand with your shipping and handling charges. If you're fair to your customers they will think better of you for it and in the long run your sales will be better.

© Copyright 2005 Steven Woodward - All Rights Reserved

About the Author:
Steven Woodward is the owner, editor and publisher of the Auction Sellers Network (ASN); a web site for individuals and companies who are serious about utilizing the online auction marketplace for their business. In addition to topical articles, ASN provides an extensive resource center, news feeds, member forums and classified ads. For more information or to become a member please visit http://www.AuctionSellersNetwork.com.

No permission is needed to reproduce an unedited copy of this article as long the About the Author tag is left intact and included. We do request that we be informed where it is posted and reciprocal links will be considered.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

WHEC

Storage company accidentally auctions off wrong unit
WHEC
"Life Storage's auction guidelines are very precise and in accordance with all applicable laws," Piegza wrote in a statement. "Unfortunately, in this instance, the unit was auctioned in error. We promptly contacted the buyer of the sold unit who ...


Wall Street Journal

Once-Worthless Radio Waves Get New Life in Spectrum Auction
Wall Street Journal
The Federal Communications Commission will begin the first of two auctions for extremely high-frequency spectrum licenses on Wednesday, raising cash from a type of radio wave once considered useless for wireless service. Recent technological advances ...
FCC launches first US high-band 5G spectrum auctionReuters
FCC 28 GHz Band Auction Launching WednesdayMultichannel News
Federal Auction of 5G Airwaves Gets Off to a Slow Start. Here's Why (Updated)Fortune
FierceWireless
all 62 news articles »

Forbes

Rare Stan Lee Collectibles Go Up For Auction Days After His Death
Forbes
A rare collection of works by comic book legend Stan Lee are going up for auction just days after his death. The items are part of the highly anticipated Icons & Idols: Hollywood event coordinated by Julien's Auctions, the world-record breaking auction ...

and more »

CNBC

Bidding is on for the most expensive home ever to hit the auction block
CNBC
Real estate auctions, once used for foreclosures and distressed sellers, is moving upmarket. The number of multimillion-dollar homes being sold at auction has nearly doubled in the past year, according to real estate analysts and auction companies.


Siouxland News

Hometown Farmer - Wakonda farm toy auctions
Siouxland News
"A little over $8,000 for a John Deere hay loader," said Ken Girard, of Girard Auction & Land Brokers, Inc. That's a lot money, for a little implement. "We sold this one this last weekend for $5,100, but it had been repaired, so that's what held this ...


WWD

Sotheby's Geneva Auctions Marie-Antoinette's Jewels
WWD
The Bourbon-Parma family who are descendants of Louis XIV, the Holy Roman Emperors and Pope Paul III, will be putting up 10 of the Queen of France's jewels up for sale, at a Sotheby's auction taking place in Geneva on Nov. 14. These include Marie ...
Marie Antoinette pearl auctioned for record $36mBBC News
Marie Antoinette's pearl pendant has sold for $50 million at auctionVogue Australia
Marie Antoinette's jewels go up for auctionSky News
Celeb's Net -Sotheby's
all 668 news articles »

Robb Report

Academy of Art University Auctions 45 of Its Cars
Robb Report
Stephens' daughter, Elisa (the school's current president), is selling a small portion of the collection during Mecum Auctions' Las Vegas sale, to be held November 15 through 17. Proceeds from the auction of these cars—which carry estimates ranging ...


Above the Law

Dispossessed After Death: The Disposition Of Tangible Personal Property, Auctions, And Estate Sales
Above the Law
In addition to the disposition of real estate, financial accounts, and royalties, a last will and testament also disposes of one's tangible personal property, or plainly said, one's things. These items are as large as cars and boats, as valuable as art ...


LA Daily News

From LA Rams jersey auctions to simply socks, donors are stepping up for Woolsey fire victims
LA Daily News
Shervin Natan gives back to the Los Angeles community by donating socks from his sock company, Ivory+Mason Socks, to the homeless almost every day. “I see how happy they are to receive the socks. It's getting colder now. It's something they need.


Reuters

German officials sound China alarm as 5G auctions loom
Reuters
BERLIN (Reuters) - Senior German officials are planning a last-ditch drive to convince the government to consider excluding Chinese firms such as Huawei from building the country's 5G infrastructure amid concerns this could compromise national security.
German officials sound China alarm before 5G auctionsTaipei Times
Espionage fears dog China's biggest smartphone makers - News.com.auNews.com.au
Trump to copy Australia's 5G ban on Chinese telcosThe Australian

all 91 news articles »
Google News

Maria?s New Lifestyle: Short Story About The Benefits Shopping On The Net Has Given

I've got this strange friend; her name is Maria. Maria's... Read More

The Top Ten Tips For Auction Success!

If you were to look through eBay, or any other... Read More

eBay Gold

Internet auctions are relatively new having been around since the... Read More

Your eBay Business - 8 Ways To Insure Its Success

I don't know if you've ever noticed, but it seems... Read More

From Ebay Zero to Power-Selling Hero: The Devil Is In The Details

If you've ever heard the expression "the devil is in... Read More

5 Reasons Why Playing Music On Your Auctions Is A Bummer Of An Idea

There are 147 million registered users on eBay, and tens... Read More

So, Can You Really Sell EBooks On EBay And Make Cold Hard Cash?

Selling eBooks on eBay, and making any worthwhile profit from... Read More

How To Make Money Online : Sell On eBay

Selling on eBay can be very profitable, and is a... Read More

Killer Tips To Succeed With eBay Auction

For just a moment, try to comprehend the power of... Read More

Mistakes to Avoid in your eBay Auctions

Online auctions continue to grow in popularity as an easy... Read More

Effective Auction Listings - How To Create Them

Once you've created the best possible title for your item,... Read More

Fed Up With eBay?

For many people, their first experience of working online involves... Read More

What YOU Must Know About The Advantages And Pitfalls Of Dropshipping

The following may be the most important information about dropshipping... Read More

Why Ebay Is The Best Place To Make Your First $1000 Online

I'd like to begin with a question ? and I'll... Read More

Get Yourself A Piece of The eBay Pie

Ebay is without a doubt the greatest internet marketing phenomenon... Read More

The Top Sellers On eBay & What We Can Learn From Them

A fascinating eBay case study is the number one seller... Read More

The Down Side Of Using Dropshippers In The Ebay Auction Arena!

Ok, let me just say right up front that I... Read More

Online Auctions: How To Generate Fast Traffic From Online Auctions

Have you ever participated in any online auctions?Yes, people are... Read More

Search... Search... Search Your Way To eBay Cash!

One of the most valuable things in life is the... Read More

Profit through Other Peoples eBay Errors

There are many issues that influence how an eBay auction... Read More

Drop Shipping Increases Profits

You would like to increase your income by selling other... Read More

How Professional Ebay Auction Templates Can Boost Your Ebay Sales

Do you like to sell on eBay ? It's easy... Read More

Attract eBay Buyers Like Crazy!

As an ebay(TM) seller it happens very often (too often)... Read More

Photos on my eBay Auctions: How Do I Add Them?

On another forum I'm involved with, someone's asked a great... Read More

Selling on eBay - Have You Found the Magic Formula Yet?

Selling on eBay can be very profitable and a great... Read More